Navigation Content Activities in the Peak District
Facebook

Winter sunrises – Stephen Elliott

Blog Posted on 08 Feb 2012

Winter is probably my favourite season for landscape photography; yes it can be and is often freezing cold, dark, wet and miserable but we can also get some amazing light, crisp frosty mornings and flurries of snow. This year the snow has been late coming but we have had some lovely sunrises, so I’m going to share a few taken over the last few weeks.

One of the nice things about winter sunrises is that you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night like you do when shooting in the summer, you can quite happily stay in bed until 6am and still get into position to catch the first light of the day. You will need a tripod, freshly charged batteries for your camera as they fade quickly in cold conditions; a head torch is useful to see where you are going as paths can be difficult to navigate in the dark. Warm clothing and a hot drink as you can spend quite a while waiting for the light.

These are the millstones at the eastern end of Stanage sat on the hillside above Overstones Farm, it was an extremely windy morning and I had to weight down my tripod to prevent camera shake during the 2.5 second exposure, taken about 10 minutes before the sunrise.

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_1.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 2.5secs f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

A slight change of composition to include the sun in the shot

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_2.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 1.3secs f9 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

Another great location is Curbar edge and is only a 10 minute walk from the car park and easy place to get to in the dark.

My first shot was taken a good 35 minutes before sunrise when the light was much softer and cooler. I quite like the movement in the clouds and the streak of light created by the passing car due to the long exposure

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_3.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8,  40secs f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter 

And when the sun came over the horizon

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_4.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 0.6sec f10 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter
A perfectly still morning for a visit to Higger Tor, the pre-sunrise light was amazing for my first shot as the vivid light was reflected across frozen peat puddles

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_5.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 5secs f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_6.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 4secs f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

I moved round to catch the sun rising over Carl Wark and the side lit lightly frosted rocks on Higger Tor

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_7.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 1/10s f7.1 @ 12mm 200 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

My next location started off with a lung busting climb in the dark up to High Neb the highest point on Stanage, my first shot was taken a good 50 minutes before sunrise as the first light of the day emerged slowly over the landscape

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_8.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 50secs f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter 

This was taken just before the sun broke the horizon over High Neb the light becomes more golden as it floods over the rocks and landscape

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_9.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 5secs f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

Finally we had some snow so made another visit to Higger Tor to shoot the sunrise and catch the golden light as it lit up the gritstone.

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_10.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 1/5sec f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

And more snow the following weekend, definitely worth getting up, I defrosted the car and removed a good 6" of snow from it, then a slippery drive up to the Surprise car park followed by a hard climb in the dark to get into position to catch the first light of dawn as it illuminates the virgin snow and Mother Cap on Owler Moor

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_11.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 1/3sec f8 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

This next image was taken 14 minutes later after the sun had finally broken the horizon and shone over the landscape bringing some glorious warm light to a cold February day

http://www.peakdistrictonline.co.uk/images/stephen-elliott-image_12.jpg

Olympus E5, 12-60mm f2.8, 1/4sec f16 @ 12mm 100 ISO, 0.9 reverse ND grad filter

I’m pretty pleased with my winter sunrises this year so far and it’s still not too late to have a go, the hard bit is dragging yourself out of a warm bed after that it’s easy and you will be well rewarded for your effort.

This blog was brought to you by Stephen Elliott

Comments:

Login to share your views

Email
(Your email address will never be published)
Password

Add a comment

Title*
Post*